Everything You Need To Know About Your Generator

With snow and high winds predicted for tomorrow, some Westporters may lose power.

Alert “06880” reader Bart Shuldman wants his neighbors — particularly those with new generators, or those who have not thought about their old ones in a while — to be prepared. He passes along these tips:

If you are lucky enough to have a generator, you need to know it needs oil. Depending on the size and type, when running it will need oil once a day, every other day, or every 3 days. Your generator will stop running if and when the oil pressure drops.

Here is how to see how much oil you have — and if necessary, how to change it:

Open the panels that surround the generator. Find the one where the electrical panel is. If the unit is on, turn off the unit first β€” not the breaker. Your switch should have a middle “off” position. Once the unit is off, wait 30 seconds β€” then turn the breaker off.

Once everything is off, look for the dipstick. Pull it out, wipe it clean, replace it and see if the oil shows up on the stick. There will be minimum and maximum marks. If below the minimum, add oil.

Find the oil turn cover on top of the unit. Open it up and add the oil (you may need a funnel). Add half a can, then use your dipstick and look again. Add until the oil is close to maximum level.

Once finished, replace the oil cover and put back the oil dipstick.

When starting your generator again, turn on the unit first β€” not the breaker. Wait a few seconds, then turn the breaker on. Then replace all covers. Your generator will work for at least another day.


6 responses to “Everything You Need To Know About Your Generator

  1. Thanks for helping people prepare for the storm, Dan. Just some additional info for some of your readers: SInce we had run our generator for 8 days after Sandy, without replacing the oil, I checked with our contractor. He said we have synthetic oil, which doesn’t need to be replaced that often. (He does it once a year.)

  2. A timely piece! Good luck with the storm, Danny. We are hunkering down here. TT

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. Denning McCleery Chambers

    Great information Dan
    What a service to your community!
    I would’ve really used this info if I was still playing frontier woman outside of buffalo
    Since I retired to Maui 2 yrs ago all I can say is
    Good luck good works and aloha
    Denning McCleery chambers πŸ’œ

  4. We have pasta, tomatoes, onions and wine — who needs to strip the supermarket shelves? Also firewood and candles. I’m looking forward to all this sturm und drang. mmm.

  5. The main thing about any power equipment , is the Gas .. Todays gasoline goes bad in a few months , unless you use a fuel stabilizer in the gas can . Then its only good for 12 months . NEVER EVER leave gas in any power equipment , if it sits for a few months ..

    • Brett M. Kirby

      ……and don’t forget to keep portable generators at a safe distance from your home. Do not use in an enclosed area such as a porch or garage. Carbon monoxide can build up very quickly. Ensure you have working carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home close to / outside your sleeping areas.